that which forms a basic matter of thought, discussion, investigation, etc.: a subject of conversation.
a branch of knowledge as a course of study: He studied four subjects in his first year at college.
a motive, cause, or ground: a subject for complaint.
the theme of a sermon, book, story, etc.
the principal melodic motif or phrase in a musical composition, especially in a fugue.
an object, scene, incident, etc., chosen by an artist for representation, or as represented in art.
a person who is under the dominion or rule of a sovereign.
a person who owes allegiance to a government and lives under its protection: Swedish subjects are guaranteed access to equal education in childhood.
Grammar. (in many languages, such as English) one of the two main parts of a sentence, containing a noun or pronoun and all of its modifiers, which generally refers to the one performing an action, experiencing a condition, or being in a state expressed by a verb: for example, Our best employee in Our best employee gave notice, or He in He is still here.: Compare predicate (def. 1).
a person or thing that undergoes or may undergo some action: As a dissenter, he found himself the subject of the group's animosity.
a person or thing under the control or influence of another.
a person as an object of medical, surgical, or psychological treatment or experiment.
a cadaver used for dissection.
Logic. that term of a proposition concerning which the predicate is affirmed or denied.
that which thinks, feels, perceives, intends, etc., as contrasted with the objects of thought, feeling, etc.
the self or ego.
Metaphysics. that in which qualities or attributes inhere; substance.
being under domination, control, or influence (often followed by to).
being under dominion, rule, or authority, as of a sovereign, state, or some governing power; owing allegiance or obedience (often followed by to).
open or exposed (usually followed by to): subject to ridicule.
being dependent or conditional upon something (usually followed by to): His consent is subject to your approval.
being under the necessity of undergoing something (usually followed by to): All beings are subject to death.
liable; prone (usually followed by to): subject to headaches.
to bring under domination, control, or influence (usually followed by to).
to bring under dominion, rule, or authority, as of a conqueror or a governing power (usually followed by to).
to cause to undergo the action of something specified; expose (usually followed by to): to subject metal to intense heat.
to make liable or vulnerable; lay open; expose (usually followed by to): to subject oneself to ridicule.
Obsolete. to place beneath something; make subjacent.
- sub·ject·a·ble, adjective
- sub·ject·a·bil·i·ty [suhb-jek-tuh-bil-i-tee], /səbˌdʒɛk təˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
- sub·ject·less, adjective
- sub·ject·like, adjective
- non·sub·ject, noun, adjective
- pre·sub·ject, verb (used with object)
- re·sub·ject, verb (used with object)
- un·sub·ject, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use subject in a sentence
Still, all of the company’s customers and others using this pricing mechanism were subject to such volatility.Environment Report: State Throws Cold Water on Pricing Scheme | MacKenzie Elmer | September 14, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
After I folded the Duo, sometimes I ended up with the camera facing toward me, not my subject, and the Duo remained in selfie mode.Review of the Microsoft Surface Duo folding phone: Very pretty but just how useful is it? | Aaron Pressman | September 10, 2020 | Fortune
How and when that collapse might occur is the subject of a five-year international collaborative research effort.New maps show how warm water may reach Thwaites Glacier’s icy underbelly | Carolyn Gramling | September 9, 2020 | Science News
Kelvin Barrios could be the subject of yet another San Diego ethics violation.Morning Report: New Ethics Concerns for City Council Candidate | Voice of San Diego | September 3, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
This article was co-published with The Atlantic and is not subject to our Creative Commons license.What Can Mayors Do When the Police Stop Doing Their Jobs? | by Alec MacGillis | September 3, 2020 | ProPublica
Throughout the fifties, in city after city, fluoridation became the subject of fierce debate.
This is a provocative subject that is ready-made for the classroom.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’ | Gary May | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Imam Bheel, as locals call him, was added to a list of worldwide traffickers subject to U.S. sanctions in 2009.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan | Umar Farooq | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He allows the subject to float over to Hitchcock with a calm directness that I admire.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days | David Freeman | December 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
No one knows what they're about but Boba Fett is rumored to be the subject of one.Shocking New Reveals From Sony Hack: J. Law, Pitt, Clooney, and Star Wars | William Boot | December 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
No man should regard the subject of religion as decided for him until he has read The Golden Bough.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
But a little earlier still, to be an Infidel was to be an outlaw, subject to the penalty of death.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
Her manner amazed him; it was so unlike the aspect of fair interpretation, with which she usually discussed a dubious subject.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
Her "St. Agnes" is an interesting rendering of a well-worn subject.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. | Clara Erskine Clement
No trait is better marked in the normal child than the impulse to subject others to his own disciplinary system.Children's Ways | James Sully
British Dictionary definitions for subject
the predominant theme or topic, as of a book, discussion, etc
(in combination): subject-heading
any branch of learning considered as a course of study
grammar logic a word, phrase, or formal expression about which something is predicated or stated in a sentence; for example, the cat in the sentence The cat catches mice
a person or thing that undergoes experiment, analysis, treatment, etc
a person who lives under the rule of a monarch, government, etc
an object, figure, scene, etc, as selected by an artist or photographer for representation
that which thinks or feels as opposed to the object of thinking and feeling; the self or the mind
a substance as opposed to its attributes
Also called: theme music a melodic or thematic phrase used as the principal motif of a fugue, the basis from which the musical material is derived in a sonata-form movement, or the recurrent figure in a rondo
the term of a categorial statement of which something is predicated
the reference or denotation of the subject term of a statement. The subject of John is tall is not the name John, but John himself
an originating motive
change the subject to select a new topic of conversation
being under the power or sovereignty of a ruler, government, etc: subject peoples
showing a tendency (towards): a child subject to indiscipline
exposed or vulnerable: subject to ribaldry
conditional upon: the results are subject to correction
subject to (preposition) under the condition that: we accept, subject to her agreement
(foll by to) to cause to undergo the application (of): they subjected him to torture
(often passive foll by to) to expose or render vulnerable or liable (to some experience): he was subjected to great danger
(foll by to) to bring under the control or authority (of): to subject a soldier to discipline
rare to subdue or subjugate
rare to present for consideration; submit
obsolete to place below
- Abbreviation: subj
- subjectable, adjective
- subjectability, noun
- subjectless, adjective
- subject-like, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cultural definitions for subject
A part of every sentence. The subject tells what the sentence is about; it contains the main noun or noun phrase: “The car crashed into the railing”; “Judy and two of her friends were elected to the National Honor Society.” In some cases the subject is implied: you is the implied subject in “Get me some orange juice.” (Compare predicate.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with subject
In addition to the idiom beginning with subject
- subject to, be
- change the subject
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.